Q&A with Author Preslaysa Williams
Q: How did you go from acting to becoming a full-time writer?
I started acting when I was very young. I spent most of my childhood and teen years going on auditions after school. Acting played a huge part in my childhood. I was always an avid reader, but I didn’t seriously consider becoming a writer until my late twenties. When I became a mother at thirty years old, I finally started writing fiction. I started writing fiction because I needed a creative outlet. Writing was something I could easily pick up because it didn’t require that I travel to auditions. All I needed was a notebook, a pen, and my imagination.
Since then, I’ve always incorporated writing into my life. I am a full-time writer and a full-time mother and a full-time homeschooler. I juggle a lot!
Q: How many books have you published so far?
I have published two full-length novels and three short stories. My short stories are in novella collections and in one literary journal. My first published full-length novel is a women’s fiction entitled Healing Hannah’s Heart. It was released in 2019. A Lowcountry Bride is my second published novel.
Q: Which book was your first novel?
The first book which I ever wrote was A Lowcountry Bride, even though it is the second book to be published. I started writing A Lowcountry Bride in 2010, and it has undergone many evolutions over the past decade.
Q: What inspired to you write your latest novel, A Lowcountry Bride?
I lived in the Charleston, South Carolina area for a few years. My spouse was in the Navy, and so we were stationed there. I earned my MPA from the College of Charleston during those years. I also came into my own in Charleston. I learned a lot about myself and experienced a lot of personal growth. Also, I attended an African Methodist Episcopal Church when I lived in South Carolina. My husband is A.M.E., and I fell in love with the congregation and the community. I noticed that many of the published romance novels and women’s fiction that are set in the Lowcountry do not have Black and Brown main characters. This was peculiar to me because approximately 29% of the community in Charleston is African-American. Charleston, South
Carolina was also the largest slave trading port in America, and so the history of the area and its relation to African-American people runs deep.
I wanted to write about them. I wanted to center their stories and their history while giving them
a happily ever after.
Q: What led you to writing contemporary romance novels versus other genres?
Romance is all about hope and the happily ever after. I want to show how love is powerful, not
only for the love interests, but for every other aspect of their lives. Love makes them better
people inside and out. That’s the power of the romance genre (and the power of love).
Q: How would you describe your heroine from A Lowcountry Bride?
Maya, the heroine in A Lowcountry Bride, is a go-getter. She’s driven and ambitious. However,
she’s also insecure in all of the ways that humans are insecure. She wants to find her place in the
world, but she doesn’t know how and where she fits in. I think this makes her really relatable.
Q: Using only three words describe your writing style?
Concise. Insightful. Poignant.
Q: What themes will readers find in your latest book?
I address themes regarding chronic illness. Maya has sickle cell anemia, a disease which affects
people of African descent. I also address gun violence. Derek’s late wife died in a mass shooting
three years prior to the story’s beginning. Another theme which I address is racism, particularly
the microaggressions that Black and Brown people experience in predominantly white spaces.
Related themes in A Lowcountry Bride are grief, loss, and finding one’s identity in the world.
Q: Do you have any other books you are working on at the moment?
Right now, I am working on another love story set in the Lowcountry. This story is a second
chance romance between a different couple. They have unique occupations, and the story
references the zeitgeist of our current social climate.
That’s all I’ll say about that for now…
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
Readers can visit my website at https://www.preslaysa.com They can sign up for my monthly
newsletter and learn all about my books on my site.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your genre?
Publishing is a tough business, but if you truly love writing, then pursue it with all of your heart.
Work on your craft. Discover your unique message and voice. Never rest on your laurels when it comes to your craft. You will eventually achieve your goals if you persevere and hold onto your love for writing.